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September 09, 2008

A charmed asking for Uncle Ronald

September 9. Day 71.

I'll never forget my first McDonald's cheeseburger. It was my best friend Seeyavash's birthday, and McD's was about the coolest place you could turn 5 in 1985. (Except for, maybe, Chucky Cheese.) I remember seeing the pictures on the menu first -- golden buns, a dab of red ketchup, triangles of, what was that, cheese? I asked the mommy if I could get a hamburger or a cheeseburger. "Whatever you want, pumpkin" she said (in this romanticization, granted, of that ineffably sweet moment).

I opted for cheese. Cheese was a good thing. Still is. And so a lifelong love affair was born. Good grades? "McDonald's!" my sister and I implored. Tiring airport layover? Get a little luv from the clown.

Which brings me to...

Asking I: I purchased wedding present. Tried getting cash-only discount, but was informed that "our prices are already phenomenal for what you're getting." Are they, now? Somehow, the pricetag hinted otherwise. But it's for a good cause, so getting a deal isn't the priority.

Feeling like I've been slacking off, I decided to ask again, wherever, whenever I could. Or create an opportunity if there were none. No worries, the opportunity came shortly thereafter.

Asking II: I booked a flight with Delta exclusively because they don't charge for the first checked bag. My e-ticket came, and the first leg was with AA. Eventhough I booked and paid with Delta. At check-in, they informed me I owe them $15.

"This is a Delta itinerary. I paid through them. I shouldn't have to pay this."

Protests. Explanations. Apologies.

"Please, just waive it so I don't waste my time and your airline's disputing it."

Protests. Explanations. Apologies.

I gave her my Visa.

Twice burned, I got another chance at LAX, the first stop of this three-legged red eye.

Asking III: I ordered some comf-o-food at McD's, wandered to my gate and discovered the small fries were absent from my baggie.

Back at the counter, I asked the same guy who handled my food for an upgrade. I did walk all the way back, three whole gates -- that's some serious aerobic effort for a regular customer like myself.

He reached for the large, freshly fried nd still glowing greasily... and now, a few minutes and one asking later, only the paper envelope remains as proof of my brush with starvation.

Gained: some tlc from Unkie Ronald

ps: for the next days I'm typing this on a tiny smartfone keypad, which is somewhat frustrating. So if you see typos, please be indulgent. Also, no pictures. Until Sunday, that is. Then, Boston, civlization and ambient free wifi. Looks like cell phones need to be off. Ciao ciao from seat 21A!!

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